PHILOSOPHY

We believe that play, within the context of healthy relationships, is the primary way in which young children grow and mature into happy, productive students ready for a lifetime of learning. In the Early Learning Center (ELC), playful interactions with sensitive adults, their peers and an enriching environment enable children to learn about the world, themselves and each other. As children play, they test their ideas, learn new skills, develop strategies for problem-solving, acquire knowledge and communicate their understanding. As they play, they learn to master their minds, bodies and emotions. This cornerstone of the ELC’s approach to early education is supported by current research on child development. A report by the American Academy of Pediatrics states, “…free and unstructured play is healthy and – in fact – essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.”


GUIDING PRINCIPLES:


ELC teachers are guided by a set of four core principles that inform educational practices, curriculum planning and decision-making process:
Socially and Emotionally Responsive:

  • We build a trusting relationship with each child
  • We help children learn to identify and understand their own feelings and those of others
  • We teach children to manage strong emotions and regulate their behaviors
  • We view conflicts as opportunities for creative problem-solving
  • We model empathy and respect for others
  • We partner with parents to support the development of their children
  • We provide responsive, individualized childcare and education

DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE:


  • We meet children where they are
  • We respect the whole child
  • We value process over product
  • We provide open-ended activities that all children can access
  • We set goals that are challenging and achievable
  • We create caring, supportive and fun classrooms
  • We respect and celebrate the individual differences of the children in our care

CONTENT RICH:


  • We model ways for children to care for themselves and others
  • We ask lots of questions
  • We build speaking and listening skills through stories, pretend play, and music
  • We create a print- rich environment and foster a love of reading
  • We discover mathematical relationships through exploring number, size, patterns and shapes
  • We explore nature in our local community
  • We create art in different ways and with many types of objects and materials
  • We learn about each other’s families, languages, customs and cultures

CHILD CENTERED/EMERGENT:


  • We value the passion of each child
  • We believe in active, “hands on” learning
  • We plan activities that are relevant to children’s interests
  • We build upon children’s strengths
  • We support children’s emerging skills
  • We partner with parents to support the development of their children
  • We help children think about what and how they are learning

OUR PROGRAMS

EARLY LEARNING CENTER

Quality education and nurturing child care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Pre-K readiness for children moving on to kindergarten. Read more

COUNSELING AND CONSULTATION

Counseling and support services to families, children, and pregnant and parenting teens as they address current challenges as well as past traumas. Read more

EARLY LITERACY SERVICES

Helps families challenged by poverty, limited education, or literacy barriers prepare their young children to enter school ready to learn.
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CAP⋅CHILD ASSAULT PREVENTION

Counseling and support services to families, children, and pregnant and parenting teens as they address current challenges as well as past traumas. Read more